MacBook Air gets 6 Mb/s iPhone gets 65 Mb/s?????

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by agentphish, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    Can anyone explain this? Looking at stats in new airport util, my 2011 Air shows it's connected to my 5ghz network at just 6 Mb/s.

    My iPhone is connected to my 2.4ghz network at 65 Mb/s.

    Can anyone explain why? Is this a calculatory difference between 2.5 and 5ghz networks?

    Screen Shot 2012-01-31 at 6.11.54 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2012-01-31 at 6.12.53 PM.png
  2. agentphish thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    no ideas? This seems crazy to me. Maybe it's the crappy new airport utility.
  3. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Too many factors to tell for sure. 5GHz by the nature of radio waves has a shorter useable range. II see that the noise floor is greater on the 5GHz signal by about 10dBm which equates to about half the useable signal of the 2.4 signal. Could be interference on that channel with a neighbors wifi, distance from the router, location (penetration rates go down as the frequency rates go up).

    So as I said it could be numerous factors and without a site survey it would be hard to tell what is happening. You can change the channel the 5GHz signal operates on and see if it gets better results for you. Lion has a built in diagnostic that would help with determining the best setup for your location. I can see great drops in mine between channels 1 and 11 for example (and the same on the 5Ghz side, which runs on a completely different set of channels).

    I would say that if you are savvy enough play with the settings and fine tune for your location.
  4. agentphish thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    Phone and mac are both on my lap. Airport Extreme is one floor up, almost directly above me. I have a townhouse, so not big. Maybe 20 feet diagonally.

    I've used AirRadar to determine what channels my neighbors are not on and those are the ones I use. There are no other 5ghz routers in use that I can ever see in my house. There are 4 other total access points that can be seen from my living room. All neighbors are on 6 or 7. Only one other N network. O

    I have been running channel 161 on 5ghz and 9 on 2.4ghz. No cordless phones or wireless devices other than AppleTV and 2 iPhones in the house.

    Just switched from that to 36 and 1, looking at the graph in Wi-fi Diagnostics in Lion, it's worse for me so I changed to 149 and 1 which is slightly better than original, based on the graph.

    Just seems odd.
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    5GHz doesn't go through things well. so it could be the floor/ceiling between you and the router blocking you. try the test in the same room.

    also with the G channels, anything closer than 5 channels overlaps, so 6 & 9 would overlap, 1 & 6 don't, 6 & 11 don't. just something to keep in mind.
  6. agentphish thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    yes. I left it at defaults when I got this one. I completely forgot to change it. So channels are changed.

    When in the same room I read 300 Mb/s.

    Wild that 20 feet through nothing more than a floor will degrade signal that much.
  7. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    It's not that wild. You can stand five feet away from a router without getting any signal at all. It's all about what the signal has to get through.

    In my old apartment I could hardly get any signal at all (cell phone, wifi, cordless phone, you name it) in the bathroom. On the other side of one of the walls was the elevator, in which I had pretty much perfect reception, both wifi and cell phone (never tried the cordless phone though ;)). You'd think an elevator in an elevator shaft would be more of a Faraday's cage than a bathroom, but apparently not... :)
  8. jwm2 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2012
    It depends on the router. I've got an asus wireless n router and i get perfect signal in my basement and every corner of the house. (I stream hdtv from netflix and hulu in each room including the basement) I even get great signal outside in my driveway or on the back patio. So a lot of it has to do with the hardware, its built in antennas and placement of the router.
  9. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    It is not all hardware. The construct of the building makes a big difference as well. If there are firebreaks constructed of cinder or steel that will greatly attenuate signal as well. 5GHz has at least half of the wavelength as 2.4 so the distance is a great factor as well.

    Also RF is based upon ground wave propagation, meaning that it follows the lay of the land, so being at a higher level doesn't guarantee better coverage, it can actually hurt coverage as depending on the strength, one could be overshooting the target. You may find the depending on the height of the router the signal may not drop in the and be putting you on the outside of its useable range.

    Like was pointed out the only real separations in channel are 1, 6, and 11. Anything in between is a mixing of the outlying channels, so the chance of overlay interference exits.

    Like I said before too many factors to tell for sure. Does the Signal get better when closer to the router, that points to some sort of interference, be it rf or physical barriers/ distance?

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